Posts Tagged ‘media’

Documentary maker and The Age reporter Jane Lee outside Media House.

The Age reporter Jane Lee’s recent New York documentary ‘Yesterday’s News’ investigates mainstream media’s potential for survival in the digital age.

In her thirty minute production Ms Lee shares her insight from a series of interviews with prominent journalists and academics to establish what went ‘wrong’ with the media industry.

The share price for Fairfax alone has dropped from 96 to 39 cents in less than one year and with jobs being laid off, a downturn in circulation and falling revenues, the newspaper industry currently presents itself as an unstable frontier.

“Traditional legacy print media organisations around the world forecast their futures based on old revenue models without really doing any serious due diligence on the trends online,” Ms Lee said.

“I think that showed a massive lack of foresight from a lot of media companies and I guess they’re starting to realise now.”

In her documentary Ms Lee reports on a range of media start-ups to explore how journalists should deal with the rapid changes in their industry.

“There are some small pockets of opportunities, like in the documentary we found Talking Points Memo as a website in New York that started as a political news site. It started as a small following, and now their revenue’s up year on year, much more than a lot of major media companies. So there is some hope,” she said.

ABC investigative journalist Bruce Hill agrees that the key to surviving the changing times is to innovate and embrace the challenges presented by citizen journalism.

“Where there is increasing competition from blogs and websites that people put up for free we’re going to have to provide our audience with something that’s a bit special and with a bit more added value,” he said.

Mr Hill believes that some newspapers only have themselves to blame for falling revenues as they are alienating their readers due to the growth of what he calls ‘committed’ or ‘biased’ journalism.

“Journalists can have their own opinions but if it’s going to start influencing the way that you’re writing and what you’re writing about, your readers eventually detect this,” he said.

“They’ve created a bit of an ideological bubble for themselves and I think the city doesn’t like being talked down to.”

Both Bruce Hill and Jane Lee agree that the future of mainstream media will be more fragmented with a choice of media to suit different interests.

“People are going to listen to people who make them feel good about themselves and comfortable, and that possibly means the idea of mass media culture that everyone shares in is probably over and that’s very uncomfortable for a lot of people,” Mr Hill said.

Ms Lee and her co-director intend to present several screenings of ‘Yesterday’s News’ at journalism schools around Australia.

Go2News Extra: Will there be a future for young journalists?

ABC Investigative Journalist Bruce Hill and The Age Reporter Jane Lee respond.

Yesterday’s News Trailer

On July 11, a 13 year old girl called Molly Lord was killed in a quad bike accident in Kembla Grange. But it was not this freak accident that caused the media storm to follow; in one of the most proactive and controversial campaigns against media intrusion, the Molly’s Law movement has triggered a public outcry in the bid to protect grieving and distressed families against death knocks.

Young Molly Lord was an accomplished equestrienne, tragically killed in a farm accident on July 11, 2012

The Illawarra Mercury, and Channel 7 are the guilty parties that initiated this movement. In the most devastating and emotional time a parent could face, freshly grieving the death of their beloved child, their situation was escalated and privacy violated by media agencies in the defence of ‘public interest’.

Goldspink-Lord was filmed by a channel 7 helicopter besides her dead daughter, and in a separate incident when consoling herself by visiting her daughters horse, had a reporter enter her house, trespassing and snooping for the Illawarra Mercury.

‘I went outside at some point to go to her horse for some comfort when the channel 7 helicopter flew above me … footage of myself sitting with my deceased daughter was put on the channel 7 website for the world to see before I had even told all my family.’
— Channel Seven, News, Facebook page, 21st July, 2012

Goldspink-Lord’s comment on Channel 7’s wall received great support, however was removed by the television station when they removed the offending video.

Lords father was overseas at the time, and was contacted for comment by these agencies. The family implored the press not to publicise the death, declined comment in a bid to have the opportunity to contact those close family and friends who had not known about the accident, but this right was denied when in minutes footage was aired on Channel 7 showing the grieving mother with her child, and a front cover on the Illawarra Mercury describing with text and image the death.

An outraged Goldspink-Lord retaliated, posting with her full name on both agencies articles her plight of intrusion, supported by thousands of comments outraged over the families treatment. A Facebook page, now supported by over 7000 fans, further publicised her plight.

‘I am the mother of the beautiful Molly Lord who was killed on a quad bike last week. I would just like to let everyone know of the pain and harassment we suffered as a result of channel 7…’ Channel Seven News, Facebook page, 21st July, 2012

The Facebook page established to support Molly’s Law, and the efforts of the Lord family in their plight.

Beyond just press coverage, bloggers including Woolly Days, WA TODAY, Crikey, FOI PRIVACY, Mumbrella and many others, have also commented and discussed this incident on many occasions, seeking an interactive medium to give consumer power back to those from media entities.

The power of social media has been clarified, with the medium providing an opportunity for the family to seek the answers they want, and are moving with legal representation to not only seek justice, but demand fairness in grieving for the protection of families in similar circumstances.

Mollys Law from Elia Lom on Vimeo.

Molly’s Law

-Elia Lom


LOCAL Knox resident and RMIT graduate Jessica Barlow, is taking a stand against the rise of the airbrushing age in women’s magazines, with self-promoted campaign The Brainwash Project.

Ms Barlow, 20, began the search toward a push for a celebration of natural beauty in publications nation-wide, after enduring a tormenting high-school experience, primarily dominated by the bullying effects of body image and the resulting pressure.

RMIT student Jessica Barlow.

Now taking the fight into her own hands, Ms Barlow is keen to show Australian print agencies that respect is mandatory for young women, as a simple act of caring for the nation’s younger generations.

“It’s clear to me that many females are interested, as well as me, in this issue,” she says.

“I am not satisfied that the majority of magazines out there for women are focused primarily on sex, boys and appearance.”

Ms Barlow has spent the first half of the year blue-printing the project, including sourcing funding from the kind donations of the public, through Pozible—the online charity funding program—to introduce a magazine for body-conscious females who are after ‘real’ content.

The Brainwash Project is self-funded and it is very expensive to create a magazine.

I’ve got 40 days left on the Pozible fundraising page and could use as much help as is out there! I’m hoping to raise $10,000 so I can print a lot of copies to distribute to young people.”

 Ms Barlow began planning the campaign, after a similar project saw successful results in the U.S, after women’s advocate Julia Bluhm demanded Seventeen Magazine to publish a non-altered image of the female body.

Jessica Barlow’s call for submissions campaign for ‘The Brainwash Project’.

Taking the lead here in Australia, Ms Barlow has claimed the attention of popular comedian Kitty Flanagan, who has appointed The Brainwash Project an official segment on Channel Ten’s news-panel program The Project.

The campaign has also attracted interest from international media through online petition site Change, and has now reached its minimum funding goal of $4,000 on Tuesday 21 August. Ms Barlow is now looking to expand the project’s funding, using its overwhelming popularity to its full extent.

“I’ve got 40 days left on the Pozible fundraising page and could use as much help as is out there!

“I’m hoping to raise $10,000 so I can print a lot of copies to distribute to young people.”

 The Brainwash Project has recently celebrated its success with a stand against women’s magazine Cleo, by having hundreds of Facebook users nation-wide, posting images of natural beauty and the effects of being body-conscious individuals in Australia. The campaign has since been granted a face-to-face meeting with Cleo Editor Gemma Crisp, to negotiate the publication’s alternatives to airbrushing and image-enhancement.

Ms Barlow and The Brainwash Project are currently calling for submissions for its first upcoming issue, after the fundraiser has concluded. To submit, visit The Brainwash Project’s homepage.

To donate, visit the campaign’s Pozible page.

Body Image Still a Major Concern

Posted: September 28, 2012 by mskimmienguyen in Education, Health
Tags: , , ,

The body image issue has been an ongoing concern across the nation as more and more young people are becoming increasingly distressed over how they physically look.

There are many different factors that help result in women feeling inadequate in their own skin. The most dominate being from pressures created by the media.

The overwhelming presence of media images of painfully thin women means that real women’s bodies have become invisible in the mass media. Women internalize these stereotypes and compare themselves to other women.

The media has been at the forefront of why this issue is occurring. Through the use of Photoshop and the limited use of ordinary people for media representation the issue only seems to be getting worse.

Mission Australia’s largest annual survey of young people listed body image as on of the top ranking issue of concern in Australia among the ages of 11 to 24 year olds.

Hillary Dobre a 17-year-old high school student feels the pressure “ I usually watch reality TV shows. They kind of give you an example of how you should look like and then all of the magazines talk about how you should take this diet or you should eat that you should exercise. I mean even though you know its photo shopped you still kind of believe that their still perfect and you still try to aim to be what they look like”

Popular film and television actors portrayed in the media are now becoming younger, taller and thinner. Women’s magazines are full of articles urging that if they can lose those last couple of kilos, they’ll have it all, the perfect life. The Butterfly Foundation statistics says that 90% of 12 to 17 year olds females are on a diet of some type.

Body and Soul revealed just how ingrained negative body image is in women. 97 percent of women will say something negative about their body every day. 90 percent of women aged 15 to 24 want to change at least one aspect of their appearance, most of all their body weight.

Journalist Kristi-Lyn Charter from blog Living Healthy discusses the issue of body image caused by the media.

Video by mskimmienguyen

The Butterfly Foundation Mission Statement

“The Butterfly Foundation is dedicated to bringing about change to the culture, policy and practice in the prevention, treatment and support of those affected by eating disorders and negative body image”

For more information go to

Who Said Press Needed to Be Free?

Posted: September 28, 2012 by carlosbruinsma in Social Issues
Tags: , , , , , ,

By Carlos Bruinsma

As a blogger, I have written countless posts on various online media; breaking news, issues in mainstream news, and reviews of numerous products. One of the questions that haunt me as an aspiring online journalist is how important social media really is, and more importantly, how to generate an income from an ever changing profession in the free online world.Image

The last four years have showed us a massive increase in social media activity. Going by the best publicly available information gathered from various websites such as Facebook and Twitter, we see an incredible growth with Facebook taking things to unprecedented heights.

If you have been paying attention to Facebook stocks, however, you will have noticed that Facebook shares have plummeted since going on the market earlier this year. With Google AdSense still less than ideal (we’re journalists, not underpaid billboards), the future of social media journalism is becoming ever more uncertain due to lack of funds and incomes for independent journalists like

Imageourselves, without affiliation to mainstream websites or newspapers.

Or is it?

It appears there might be hope over the horizon, with affiliate marketing taking a turn for the better. With the affiliate channel projected to reach $4 billion in 2014, it would appear, as publishers, we might be able to share in this wealth without selling our souls to the devil (ahem, Google) or clogging our pages with ugly ads. After all, my blog is to inform and entertain my readers, not to annoy them to death with adverts and pop-ups.

The solution could be simple with the rise of new platforms, such as Linksert. With teams from all over the world working together to create an accessible platform specifically designed for publishers, their WordPress plugin automatically converts all of the links on your blog to links that generate a commission every time someone makes a purchase through your blog.

“Just imagine you’re browsing the web and come across a cool product you want to review or recommend to your friends, fans or reader base,” CEO and co-founder Zachar Tolmachev suggests. “If you’re going to be sharing someone else’s product, it is only fair you generate a commission for your recommendation.”

While it’s not ideal if you never review or recommend any products, it’s a good start. Imagine a world where every time you mention a product and provide the source, you get a little money off every purchase. We’re not quite there yet, but Linksert is definitely a step in the right direction.

Linksert is not available to the public yet, but I have managed to get access to the beta, courtesy of the Linksert team. Watch the video below to see how you could potentially make your hobby your profession.

Get Cereal is a breakfast radio show for community station SYN, based in Victoria. Despite not being paid, Beck, Bron, and Scott – along with hundreds of other media makers like them – get up at all hours and commit their time to the flourishing community media landscape in Melbourne.